Whilst the phrase “podcast” didn’t even exist 30 years in the past, podcasts are actually a day-to-day a part of many of us’s lives.

As in step with research from Edison, one-third of American citizens elderly 12 and over pay attention to a podcast per month. That quantities to over 100 million other folks.

So, what’s a podcast, and why are other folks interested in them? On this article, we’ll resolution each the ones questions and let you know how you can to find podcasts, how you can pay attention to podcasts, and the way you’ll customise your podcast listening enjoy.

Let’s dive in.

What Is a Podcast?

A podcast is a curated, radio-style program other folks pay attention to thru their computer systems, capsules, or the web. “Web” is vital right here, as podcasts are disbursed on-line.

Podcasting is an excessively versatile medium, as:

  • Podcasts would possibly encompass a unmarried episode or a chain with masses of episodes
  • Podcasts range in period from one minute to hours in step with episode (the common period is 41 minutes and 31 seconds)
  • Podcasters (presenters that host podcasts) can quilt any matter
  • Podcasters can free up their demonstrate as a pre-recorded program or a reside program on a platform like Twitch or Youtube

Although each and every podcast has its distinctive genre, podcasters most often provide their episodes in one among 3 ways:

  1. Stand-alone: You’ll be able to pay attention to each and every episode with out paying attention to others
  2. Sequentially: You will have to pay attention to each and every episode in a suite order to totally perceive the tale
  3. Theme-based: You’ll be able to pay attention to each and every episode in my opinion, however the episodes provide nuances of a subject, and you’ll wish to pay attention to all episodes to realize absolutely

Podcasts additionally mix parts from many genres of leisure. If you happen to have been to explain a podcast in 15 phrases or much less, chances are you’ll say that they mix the intimacy of a YouTube channel with the manufacturing high quality of a radio demonstrate.

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Historical past of Podcasts

To grasp the historical past of podcasts, we wish to glance again just about two decades to the discharge of the primary iPod in 2001. Even supposing iPods weren’t the primary transportable MP3 participant available on the market, their free up coincided with the release of radio and music streaming platforms like Pandora.

Because the iPod received recognition, other folks began having a look to obtain radio presentations onto their units.

Marketers Adam Curry and Dave Winer made this imaginable in 2004. They created an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) device referred to as iPodder that might obtain radio announces from the web onto iPods.

In step with Winer, the first proper podcast used to be an interview he recorded with Christopher Lydon (a radio host who hosted Open Supply — a radio demonstrate that’s now a podcast).

Other people additionally debate the beginning of the phrase “podcast,” however it kind of feels to have in part risen from a 2004 article through Ben Hammersley titled “Audible Revolution.” Even supposing the thing doesn’t use “podcast,” it suggests 3 an identical phrases: audio running a blog, podcasting, and guerilla media.

Later, those phrases modified to “audio weblog” and “podcast,” with “podcast” in the long run becoming more popular (and hundreds of google searches through the tip of 2004).

Google Trends results for podcasts
Google Traits effects for podcasts (Supply: Google Trends)

As Google Traits suggests, the recognition of podcasts took off international after 2004.

That 12 months, the sector were given its first podcast carrier supplier — libsyn.com. Then, in 2005, the phrase “podcast” used to be the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year.

By way of 2009, 43% of Americans had heard of podcasts, and through 2019, that quantity had risen to 70%. That very same 12 months, an estimated 144 million American citizens listened to podcasts, and 90 million of the ones listeners have been listening per month.

So what do podcasts seem like lately?

Varieties of Podcasts

There are lots of several types of podcasts in 2021, together with:

  • Conversational podcasts the place hosts provide content material in a chat demonstrate genre
  • Interview podcasts
  • Podcasts that inform fictional tales
  • Podcasts that inform non-fiction tales or recount ancient occasions
  • Lecture-style podcasts that train you about a subject
  • Investigative journalism-style podcasts that provide purpose reporting
  • Recreation-show-style podcasts the place contestants compete towards each and every different or the host
  • Name-in podcasts the place callers give a contribution to the dialogue

As podcasting is an excessively versatile medium, many presentations mix parts from each and every of those other “sorts.” For instance, some episodes of the preferred podcast Answer All characteristic interviews with visitors, whilst the hosts provide different episodes thru narrative storytelling.

Naturally, the versatility of podcasting method other folks can use it to provide content material throughout a variety of genres. As of October 2020, the most popular genres incorporated comedy, information, true crime, sports activities, and well being and health.

Most popular podcast genres
Hottest podcast genres (Supply: Statista)

If you happen to’re within the media trade, the ones genres would possibly remind you of any other widespread leisure medium — radio. However whilst radio and podcasts would possibly quilt an identical genres, they aren’t the similar.

Podcasts vs Radio

As we lined within the Historical past of Podcasts phase, radio used to be an important in developing podcasts. On the other hand, whilst the 2 leisure mediums would possibly proportion a historical past, there are lots of variations lately.

Those variations come with:

  • Curation: Podcasts are most often extra curated than radio, as manufacturers can edit them prior to publishing
  • Manufacturing high quality: Many podcasts come with background track and sound results that manufacturers edit in right through post-production
  • Visuals: Podcasts would possibly come with visible parts (extra on that within the “Audio and Video” phase)
  • Center of attention: Podcasts regularly dive deep into the nuances of a subject over a couple of episodes, whilst many radio methods (particularly morning and night demonstrate methods) use an “simple listening” genre that folks can music into and perceive at any level
  • Broadcast medium: Podcasts are disbursed over the web

However whilst podcasts and radio are other, additionally they proportion an identical parts. Those parts come with the reliance on narrators, advert breaks that separate segments, and a powerful focal point on audio to inform a tale.

How Podcasts Paintings

The arena of podcasts most often works like this. First, any individual data a podcast and edits it. Then, they submit it thru a podcasting platform or without delay onto their web page using a built-in audio player. As soon as the podcast manufacturer has launched their podcast, customers pay attention to it thru their computer systems, capsules, or telephones.

To know how podcasts paintings, you want to know two key issues: video podcasting and an ordinary podcast structure.

Audio and Video

Podcasting began as a purely audio-based medium, however that isn’t true lately. As of October 2021, podcast database Pay attention Notes estimates over 2.6 million podcasts to be had on-line. Professionals imagine round 17% of them come with visible parts.

Those visible parts may well be:

  • A reside video feed appearing the podcast hosts as they discuss
  • Slides with other footage, infographics, and graphs to exhibit key issues
  • Pre-recorded skits, movies, and interviews

Whilst visible parts aren’t essential for a a hit podcast, they may be able to make the podcast higher. That’s as a result of visible parts can:

  • Exhibit vital issues which might be tough to put across over audio
  • Permit podcasters to draw a much wider target market through developing content material for customers on video platforms like Twitch or Youtube
  • Create an intimate surroundings between the host and the listener
  • Supply a aggressive edge that may building up the video podcast’s go back on funding (ROI)

Standard Structure (What To Be expecting)

As we discussed within theVarieties Of Podcasts phase, each and every podcast has a novel genre. On the other hand, maximum podcasts practice a construction like this:

  • Abstract of what came about within the closing episode (if the podcast is sequential)
  • 1–5 minute-long creation and name series (this is without doubt one of the most important portions of a podcast, because it must seize the shopper’s consideration)
  • 5–25 minute-long phase of content material
  • 1–4 minute-long advert learn
  • Any other 5–25 minute-long phase of content material
  • Any other 1–4 minute-long advert learn
  • Conclusion
  • Teaser for the following episode (if the podcast is sequential)

Whilst this will likely appear very similar to the structure for a radio demonstrate, podcasts have some distinctive quirks that set them aside.

For instance, many podcast hosts give shout-outs to Patreon supporters on the finish of episodes. Patreon is a membership-based platform the place lovers fund presentations thru common subscription bills.

However, many podcasters title their podcasts round easily searched keywords so other folks can to find them on-line. For instance, a podcast episode about ecommerce traits for 2021 can have a reputation like “State of Ecommerce 2021.”

Why Podcasts Are so Standard

Within the 2004 article “Audible Revolution,” Ben Hammersley describes some great benefits of podcasting as “one thing that newspapers can best dream about,” as podcasts have the “intimacy of voice, the interactivity of a blog, and the benefit and portability of an MP3 obtain.”

Even supposing podcasts have modified so much since 2004, the ones advantages are nonetheless legitimate lately — particularly Hammersley’s level about portability.

Whilst podcasts are a very good device for storytelling, a big a part of their attraction comes from flexibility.

Many of us pay attention to podcasts whilst working, strolling the canine, doing errands, cleansing, and commuting to paintings. All of those actions require any individual’s partial consideration — so that you couldn’t do them whilst observing TV or studying a e book. However you’ll do them whilst paying attention to podcasts.

To grasp why other folks make a selection to hear podcasts, you best wish to have a look at the most well liked podcast genres. As other folks love comedy, information, true crime, sports activities, and well being and health probably the most, we all know they pay attention to podcasts to snigger, be told new issues, increase new talents, make stronger themselves, and make amends for present occasions.

In order that explains why other folks love podcasts. However why do they start them?

Whilst each and every podcaster has their very own “why,” many of us and companies get started podcasts to:

  • Marketplace their products and services to attainable consumers
  • Expand a internet presence (developing natural content material and distributing it on-line can drive organic traffic in your web page and enterprise)
  • Train other folks talents they’ve mastered
  • Entertain other folks
  • Make money thru Patreon, donations, or commercials
  • Release a comedy, leisure, or appearing occupation
  • Have amusing (both through themselves or with pals)
  • Promote pieces through affiliate links

Podcasts Value Checking Out

In step with Pay attention Notes, over 2.6 million podcasts and 115 million podcast episodes are recently to be had on-line. Naturally, there’s a large number of podcasts to make a choice from — so the place will have to you get started?

If you happen to’re a brand new podcast listener and also you’re taken with enterprise, internet design, and ecommerce, chances are you’ll like one among our best 5 easiest podcast choices.

1. Opposite Engineered

We’ll get started through citing our personal Opposite Engineered podcast. It’s a business-focused podcast hosted through Kinsta’s Leader Working Officer, Jon Penland. In each and every episode, Jon sits down with a hit marketers and enterprise other folks and asks them about their enterprise, successes, and any nuggets of data they may be able to proportion with others.

A screenshot of Kinsta's Reverse Engineered podcast homepage.
Kinsta’s “Opposite Engineered” podcast.

If you happen to’re searching for a well-researched podcast filled with actionable insights to help you develop your enterprise, you’ll love Opposite Engineered. It’s additionally nice for those that love video podcasts, as each and every episode comprises photos from Jon’s interview.

Right here’s the place you’ll to find it:

Or, should you’re searching for an episode initially, we propose “Creating Great Culture is Key to Business Growth” with Brad Miller or “The Secret to Attracting Qualified Leads” with John Doherty.

2. How I Constructed This

How I Constructed This tells unknown tales about one of the vital global’s maximum well known corporations. Hosted through Man Raz and produced through NPR, How I Constructed This covers the origins, early years, and the “factor” that made sure corporations a hit.

Screenshot of the How I Built This Podcast
How I Constructed This podcast

How I Constructed This can be a amusing pay attention for enterprise house owners, traders, and any person taken with entrepreneurship. It has a novel genre, together with narrated storytelling, interviews with founders, and talk-show sections.

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Whilst How I Constructed This received’t train you how you can get started your personal enterprise, it’ll encourage you through appearing you the numerous tactics corporations to find luck.

Right here’s the place you’ll to find it:

3. HBR IdeaCast

HBR IdeaCast is a weekly podcast that covers topical occasions that impact enterprise house owners and bosses international.

Screenshot of the HBR IdeaCast podcast homepage
HBR IdeaCast

Hosted through senior Harvard Industry Evaluate editors Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch, HBR IdeaCast options interviews with leaders and professionals in quite a lot of fields, from prescription drugs to generation. As of October 2021, HBR IdeaCast has launched 820 episodes.

HBR IdeaCast is a wonderful podcast for those that love dense, knowledge-packed episodes.

Right here’s the place you’ll to find it:

4. The Influencer Podcast

If you happen to’ve ever thought to be influencer advertising, you’ll be told so much from The Influencer Podcast.

Hosted through Julie Solomon, The Influencer Podcast covers the enterprise facet of influencing, together with turning into an influencer, rising your logo thru influencing, and the science of influencer advertising.


The podcast comprises storytelling from Solomon, interviews with logo house owners and influencers, and recommendation for budding influencers. Even supposing the title would possibly counsel it makes a speciality of social media, Solomon covers influencers and concept leaders with affect around the internet.

Right here’s the place you’ll to find it:

5. Developer Tea

Developer Tea is a enterprise and device construction podcast masking internet design, content material introduction, product design, device engineering, {and professional} construction.


Hosted through PBSs Director of Generation Jonathan Cutrell, Developer Tea comprises interviews with trade leaders, lecture-style schooling, and philosophical musings.

Developer Tea isn’t only for builders, because it’s filled with nice knowledge that may lend a hand logo house owners, entrepreneurs, and any person who works at the backend of a virtual product make stronger their paintings.

Right here’s the place you’ll to find it:

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The right way to Pay attention to Podcasts

Being attentive to podcasts is similar to paying attention to track: you open your podcasting carrier, make a selection a podcast, and press “play.” Then you’ll pause your podcast, skip ahead or backward, or obtain your podcast for later.

You’ll want two key issues to hear podcasts: a platform to hear podcasts thru and a podcast to revel in.

Let’s get started through discussing podcasting platforms.

Best Podcast Platforms

Podcasting platforms are an middleman between podcasters and podcast customers.

Whilst there are dozens of podcasting platforms to be had on-line, 76% of podcast consumers depend on 4 platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.


With over 2.2 million podcasts, Spotify dominates the podcasting marketplace. You’ll be able to pay attention to podcasts on Spotify thru iOS units, Android units, the Spotify desktop app, and on-line at spotify.com.

You’ll be able to download podcasts for free on Spotify.

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts may be a titan of the trade, because it recently hosts over 2 million podcasts and operates in over 170 nations. Apple Podcasts are to be had on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. You’ll be able to additionally get right of entry to it thru iTunes if in case you have a Home windows pc.


You’ll be able to use Apple Podcasts totally free.

Google Podcasts

Google Podcasts is a more moderen podcasting app, as Google only released it in 2018. On the other hand, it’s nonetheless highly regarded regardless of its age, with over 496,000 reviews at the Google Play Retailer.

Recently, Google Podcasts are to be had on Android units, iPhone, Google Nest, and Google House.

You’ll be able to use it totally free.


Pandora is a track and podcast website hosting carrier that dates again to 2004. Owned through SiriusXM Holdings, Pandora recently has 58 million users.

Pandora is recently to be had on iOS and Android units, Google House, Amazon Hearth, Xbox One, and pandora.com. Pandora provides a unfastened model and paid plans. You’ll be able to pay attention to podcasts in the course of the unfastened model.

You can’t download a podcast for offline listening on Pandora.

3 Techniques to Discover a Podcast

Whenever you’ve selected a podcasting supplier, you’ll wish to discover a podcast to hear prior to you’ll press “play.” Listed below are 3 ways you’ll discover a podcast.

1. Browse Your Beneficial Podcasts

If you happen to pay attention to podcasts thru a platform like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you’ll to find new presentations through surfing the platform’s “really useful” podcast record.

This record is an effective way to seek out top of the range podcasts, as platforms counsel presentations which might be well liked by listeners, significantly acclaimed, or recently trending.

To discover a podcast in the course of the “really useful” record, merely:

  • Move in your podcasting platform
  • Click on “really useful” or “browse”
  • Scroll down till you discover a podcast that pursuits you

2. Use the Web

As discussed within the “Standard Structure (What To Be expecting)” phase, many podcast listeners to find new podcasts thru search engines like google like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

To discover a podcast this manner, merely:

  • Sort within the matter you’re taken with, plus “podcast” (like “well being and health podcast”)
  • Search for podcasts hosted on Spotify, Google, and Apple Podcasts, or scroll in the course of the record your seek engine recommends

Google search results for "health and fitness podcasts
Google seek effects for “well being and health podcasts

Whenever you’ve discovered a podcast you’re taken with, you’ll additionally use the web to seek for evaluations. Studying evaluations permit you to kind just right podcasts from unhealthy podcasts.

3. Use Pay attention Notes

Pay attention Notes is a podcast seek engine that lists over 115 million podcast episodes. To search out podcasts on it, you merely:

  • Move to the Pay attention Notes web page
  • Sort in a key phrase associated with the type of podcast you wish to have
  • Scroll down till you discover a podcast that pursuits you

If you happen to don’t see any podcasts you’re taken with, check out clicking one of the most tags to seek for a comparable program.


Subscribing to A Podcast

Whenever you get started paying attention to podcasts, chances are you’ll realize that the podcast host asks you to “subscribe.”

While you subscribe to a podcast, you signal as much as mechanically obtain new episodes. Subscribing to a podcast is an effective way to stay alongside of new episodes, as your podcasting platform will notify you when a brand new episode is launched and obtain it mechanically.

To subscribe to a podcast, move to the demonstrate’s record, and press the “subscribe” or “practice” button (other platforms use other phrases). Whenever you’ve subscribed, you’ll to find it on your “podcast subscriptions” record.

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If you happen to like curated radio presentations, documentaries, or Youtube movies, you’ll love podcasts. Being attentive to podcasts is an effective way to increase your thoughts, entertain your self, be told concerning the global, and acquire new talents, all whilst having amusing.

And easiest of all, podcasts are versatile. You’ll be able to pay attention to them each on-line and offline, to your pc or telephone, and anywhere you wish to have. All you want is a podcast app and a podcast to hear.

In fact, that begs an enchanting query: did you accept as true with our favourite podcast record, and if now not, what podcasts would you counsel for brand spanking new podcast customers?

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